SEND team members risk lives to help Japanese

By March 28, 2011

Japan (MNN) — Countries are beginning to ban imports from Japan, fearing radiation has contaminated the food supply in that nation. The United States, China, Australia, and a few other nations are now restricting some food imports from Japan.

Despite the radiation fears, the International Director of SEND International Warren Janzen is heading there to do his own assessment. He says they'll be meeting with SEND leadership and leadership with the Japan Evangelical Church Association. "We're going to be talking about what we want the Japanese people to be saying about SEND two years from now. And then, how do we get there? We're going to be networking with the Japan Evangelical Church Association leadership to hear what they want us to do — how they want us to be involved."

The radioactive threat is a concern. Janzen says, "[An unsubstantiated] report said the water in Tokyo was tainted. So there was a run on [bottled] water." The needs are great in and around the tsunami-affected area and radioactive sites.

SEND personnel are already help with relief needs. Janzen says, "We've got the passes to be on the highway. We're struggling to find gas all the time to fill the vans to take the supplies up [north].

There is good news from the Japanese national church. Janzen says, "Of the 12 churches that are members of our association, none of them were completely wiped out. Some of them had severe damage, but all of them are still there. Their people are scattered. A lot of their homes were destroyed. But the churches and the pastors are now in communications."

Janzen says SEND personnel are already delivering aid to the north. And they're driving near the radiation evacuation zone to do it.

While many Japanese have nationalistic optimism, Janzen says it is coupled with pessimism. "There's a pessimism about why this has happened. Why us? Why now? Why were there so many people lost?"

When they realize they don't have any answers, Janzen says, "That's when we need to be there in order to answer those questions and point them to the hope that's in Jesus."

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